The August sun shines brightly through the tall glass façade at The Wedge, and on the slate-grey floor, purple and green reflections of flowers come to life.
For study and semester start, the glass facades of CBS’ various entrances have been decorated in meter-tall transparent stickers with colorful motifs of flowers in bud and bloom by the Danish art duo Orkidé as part of the grand campaign called The Welcome Project.
“The past 1.5 years have introduced radical changes – maybe the biggest one in our work and study lives. We have had to take care of ourselves and each other. At CBS, we decorated the entrances with blue dots to symbolize that coronavirus was still around, and it all had a timid touch,” explains Marie Elisabeth Pade Andersen, Senior Adviser at the Department of Executive Support and Communications (SLK), and adds:
“Therefore, the semester start called for a quite different message; we are being brought back together and new things can happen. To me, that’s what the flowers symbolize. A new start, energy, diversity and transformation.”
The idea for the decoration of about 270 square meters of CBS’ entrances came about a bit by coincidence, explains Johanne Lykke from Orkidé.
“During the second lockdown this spring, we reached out to CBS because we wanted to decorate the glass fence facing Smallegade. We thought it belonged to CBS and reached out to ask for permission, but it turned out that it was Frederiksberg Municipality’s fence, and they said no to the idea. But shortly after, the architect from CBS, Maria Hansen Møller reached out and asked if we would be interested in drawing up a draft for CBS,” she says.
Marie Elisabeth Pade Andersen explains that the ‘There’s an us in campus’ campaign, which featured the blue dots, was the first of its kind where the exterior of CBS’ buildings played an active part in the communication. Therefore, when The Welcome Project was in its start phase, it was “obvious” that the buildings should be brought back into play.
“We just really wanted to do something special for this semester start to symbolize the return of employees and students to campus. That campus will be blooming with life again,” says Marie Elisabeth Pade Andersen.
The artwork comes alive
The two artists, Johanne Lykke and Nina Elizabeth from Orkidé work with the merging of art and nature, and they hope to bring nature and what it represents to CBS.
“A lot of the flowers have not fully bloomed, but the taller they get, the more they bloom. It is a metaphor for the students. They are constantly growing while studying, and if they have optimal conditions, they will bloom both as people and students,” says Johanne Lykke.
Nina Elizabeth, who is the other part of the duo in Orkidé, hopes to give students, employees and the locals a different experience of CBS buildings and bring the campus to life.
“When the sun is shining, I like to think that the artwork comes alive. One day you see them in cloudy weather, and the next day the sun brings out their true colors. They are not static,” she says and continues:
“Personally, I like that the artwork can show CBS from a different perspective. That CBS is not all corporate and serious but dares to bring in the softness of nature. And I think that’s relevant too for CBS’ students and employees. Nature and economy are linked.”
Johanne Lykke adds:
“I hope that everyone entering CBS will feel that their energy is renewed, and that the colors lighten the atmosphere and welcome people.”